In a survey of 150 systematically selected US animal care agencies and 74 Canadian humane societies to determine the prevalence of animal assisted therapy (AAT) programmes (concerns about, and experience with zoonotic diseases; and precautions taken to prevent zoonotic disease transmission) 69 US agencies and 49 Canadian societies reported having AAT programmes. 94% used dogs and/or cats, 28% used rabbits, 15% used hamsters, gerbils, mice, guineapigs and 10% used birds (excluding poultry). About two thirds of the programmes were involved with the elderly in nursing homes, about a quarter of them worked with schools, and a quarter worked with hospitals. Half of the responders had concerns about zoonotic disease control. Rabies, ringworm, and external parasitism were the commonest cited zoonotic diseases of concern. Few concerns were based on actual experience. Fewer than half of the programmes consulted a health professional about prevention of zoonotic diseases. Only 10% of the responders reported having printed guidelines about the prevention of zoonotic disease transmission. Practicing veterinarians are encouraged to make their expertise available to local AAT programmes.
|Publication Title||Canadian Veterinary Journal|
|Cite this work||
Researchers should cite this work as follows: